South Carolina nearly doubles the price of obtaining a GED - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

South Carolina nearly doubles the price of obtaining a GED certificate

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Some changes are on the way for those looking to further their education, or to land a job, by getting the General Educational Development (GED) certificate.

The South Carolina Department of Education confirms that, effective Jan. 1, all GED testing will take place online, and the cost of taking that test will change from $80 to $150.

One Lowcountry tutoring program says these changes could be a setback for the people they are trying to help.

First Presbyterian in Beaufort coordinates a three week comprehensive math and writing tutoring program for those striving to obtain a GED certificate.

Coordinator Nan Krueger says the GED is the pathway to furthering education in college without a high school diploma, or landing a better job without a diploma.  

Krueger says taking that test is a way for those without a high school diploma to get ahead in their careers.

"It's both for educational improvement, and job improvement," she says.

She considers her role in the ‘GED Boot Camp" at First Presbyterian to help people "move on with their lives, rather than wishing they could."

However, she admits the program will face a couple of obstacles with the start of 2014.

"It's going to take some more work," Krueger says.

That's because the cost of taking the test for a GED certificate will nearly double, and the test will only be offered online.

Krueger says the church now covers the cost of the students' tests within their mission's budget. But with the increase, she believes there will be some regrouping to that end.

She says it's those striving for the GED outside of the tutoring program, who need more help than they can provide, who will likely be impacted.

"What's unfortunate is that there are people who have gone through the long term GED classes and then not been able to pay for it," she says.

For now, it's mostly the computer technology that has Krueger worried about the fate of her students. The classrooms, made from Sunday school rooms, are not equipped with computers now.

"Not only will we need to provide math and writing, we may need to provide some computer skills," Krueger says.

She says everyone they program helps is computer literate.

"Well, it's going to be a work in progress. We just need to regroup," she says.

She hopes to either partner with a place which provides computers, like a library, or have computers brought in to the classrooms for the students to practice the test on.

Ultimately, Krueger presses on because of the success stories she finds rewarding.

"We have a couple of students who have enrolled at tech, and it's so good to see them progress, and use the GED to further their lives," she says.

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